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Welcome Video  |  Chancellor Ford

Welcome Video

Welcome! Watch this short video with Chancellor Ford introducing UW-Parkside's 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. 

Opening Statement


Damian Evans
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs


Luis Benevoglienti
Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affiars


The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Music Department, and the Center for Liberal Studies welcomes you to the 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. This virtual celebration will be filled with music, history, and recognition of the legacy of Dr. King’s work. Dr. King organized communities, led nonviolent protests, and supported voting rights and other inalienable rights that all human beings are entitled too.

As we think of the racial injustices that sparked national unrest and discussed more about racial equity during the past year, these issues seem to be greater than ourselves. You may ask yourself, “What can I do?” Dr. King said, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  Let us remember that we, as individuals, can make an impact on our world. No matter how small the word or deed may be, its effect creates a ripple of change. As we remember Dr. King, how will we continue his legacy? How can we be the change we want to see in the world? In closing, we ask that you remember these words of Dr. King, “The time to do what is right, is always right now.”

University Chorale Performances


Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr.
Professor of Music and
Director of Choral Activities


The University Chorale is the university choir that is open to all who wish to sing and to experience the joy of choral music, regardless of training or experience.  Its varied and diverse repertoire throughout the years has included some of the treasures of Western Civilization such as the Verdi REQUIEM and Mendelssohn ELIJAH, Glenn Burleigh's Kwanzaa work, THE NGUZO SABA SUITE, Broadway musical medleys, and gospel songs.  Singers have learned and performed contemporary choral pieces like Folke Rabe's RONDE, Elizabeth Alexander's HOW TO SING LIKE A PLANET, Z. Randall Stroope's THE CONVERSION OF SAUL, Christopher Tin's CALLING ALL DAWNS, John Legend's ALL OF ME LOVES ALL OF YOU. and student Nick Terrell's original rap song, HOURS AND HOURS.  Interested singers are invited to join.

For more information, contact Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr.

University Chorale | Lord, I Can't Turn Back

Lord, I Can't Turn Back
arr. Robert E. Williams | Jackie Labbe - Soprano

Robert E. Williams and Dr. King were college friends. Williams, who was a singer/musician, was a very active participant with King in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement. At a crucial moment in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Williams was moved to make this arrangement of an old spiritual, which was first performed by the Alabama State University Choir, which he conducted. It speaks to the determination of King and others in the movement to go all the way and not be discouraged by opposition, hate, or, even, terrorism.

Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities

University Chorale | Say Her Name

Say Her Name
arr. Alysia Lee | Erica Velasquez - Soprano

“Names are powerful,” says composer Alysia Lee. The #SayHerName movement is a witness against police brutality towards Black women. One of the movement leaders, Kimberlé Crenshaw says that, “If you say the name, you’re prompted to learn the story, and if you know the story, then you have a broader sense of all the ways Black bodies are made vulnerable to police brutality.” In a broader sense, this song seeks to give a “name” to all oppressed people whose lives have been shattered by violence at the hands of some of the people that we count on to “serve and protect.”

Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities

University Chorale | If I Can Help Somebody

If I Can Help Somebody

arr. Alma Bazel Androzzo | Rodnay Owens - Alto

Ms. Owens, music graduate, UW-Parkside Class of 2018,  is currently completing graduate studies at Vandercook University, Chicago 

In what was to be the last sermon he would preach from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which he co-pastored with his father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. chose as his subject, "The Drum Major Instinct." He declared that, while many people wanted to be front and center like drum majors, he wanted it said when he died that he had found fulfillment in loving and serving others. Then he quoted the words from this song, which classic gospel artist Mahalia Jackson had made popular some years earlier: "If I can help somebody as I pass along ... then my living shall not be in vain." 

Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities

University Chorale | It Takes A Village

It Takes a Village
arr. Joan Syzmko | Toni Black - Soprano

This rhythmic song is based on an old West African proverb and illustrates its meaning by having each voice part bring its own percussive flavor to the music-making before voices come together in unity to end the song. Dr. King often talked about how much we depend on each other: “I cannot be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be; you cannot be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” We are indeed a village!

Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities

Jacob Belotti Toni Black Eliza Corn
Molly Eisenhauer Monica Fegans Mackenzie Grube
Mason Harper Ian Huddleston Kamel Keith
Rebecca Klusmeyer Aaron Kunz Jackie Labbe
Tim Laskowski *Abby Lewis Milena Nelson
Evan Root Walter Smart Elise Sparks
Jennifer Valladares Erica Velasquez Austin Voyles

*Assistant to the Director

UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble Performances


Russ Johnson
Director of Jazz Studies

The UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble performs regularly in both on-campus and community performances. The band’s core repertoire consists of original student compositions.

Both music majors and non-majors are encouraged to participate. Auditions are held on the first day of classes.  Additional jazz offerings include Jazz History, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Arranging, and courses leading to a Jazz Studies concentration within the music major. 

For more information, contact Russ Johnson, Director of the UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble

Check us out on Facebook: UW-Parkside Jazz

UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble  | Humanity

Composed by: Kalyn Harewood

"I wrote this song as question to America. After learning and relearning about more and more murders of innocent people of color I began to wonder where humanity had gone or if it had ever truly existed in our country. This question burned further into my brain upon watching and experiencing the reaction that Americans had to the murder of George Floyd. While I was inspired and uplifted by those that protested and took such a firm stance against these atrocities, I was also disgusted and enraged by the stance that others took. A stance stating that “All lives matter”. This stance is not one of inclusion but one meant to negate black lives and lives of people of color. While it is true that all lives do matter, the statement in itself shifts focus away from the lives that are in extreme peril because it was created in response to the statement “Black lives matter.” I wrote this piece as a musical articulation of all of these thoughts and in hopes that I and others like me can one day live a country built upon foundations of humanity and furthermore compassion towards all human beings regardless of their pigmentation. "

Kalyn Harewood, UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble

  • Kalyn Harewood - voice 
  • Sam Lail – trumpet 
  • Bryan Voss – alto saxophone 
  • Benjamin Malone – trombone 
  • Victor Garcia – bass trombone 
  • Patricia Fish – piano 
  • William Schroeder – bass 
  • Joshua Garside-Myers - drums 
  • Max Feiler – violin 
  • Melissa Hardtke – viola 
  • Cameron Fair – cello 
UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble  |  Language fo the Unheard

Language of the Unheard
Composed by Joshua Garside-Myers

"While Martin Luther King is famously known for his push for peaceful protesting, he also stated: 
"Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard and what is it that America has failed to hear?" In honor of Dr. King and those who are continuing the fight for racial equity, this composition is entitled "Language of the Unheard". "

Joshua Garside-Myers, UW-Parkside Jazz Ensemble

  • Sam Lail – trumpet 
  • Bryan Voss – alto saxophone 
  • Benjamin Malone – trombone 
  • Victor Garcia – bass trombone 
  • Patricia Fish – piano 
  • William Schroeder – bass 
  • Joshua Garside-Myers - drums 

Closing Statement


Lisa Marie Barber
Director for the Center of Liberal Studies
and Professor of Art

The debt we owe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other compassionate, wise, brave, evolved pioneers of justice, is so vast, it eludes definition. Still, even as their efforts have brought about positive change to all our lives, we know the dream of an enlightened society is not yet realized; there is so much work left to do. Myself, the daughter of a first-generation Mexican-American woman born Julieta Josefina Salvatierra (who is now known by most as Julie Barber) understands, within my DNA, some of the complexities, injuries, and legacies of our country’s prejudice and racism. (Simply contemplating my mom’s two names and how, when she was young, she felt she needed to hide her fluent Spanish while too, having to ride at the back of the bus, makes my mind muddy and full—and her story is shared by so many Americans.) 

Our country has struggled with cherishing our diversity and many are just now learning how the history of racism has imprinted itself in our institutions and culture. I take some resolve believing, whole-heartedly, that the majority of Americans value our diversity and see it as among our greatest strengths—something deserving both exaltation and protection. That said, we all need to do the work to bring change and stop the injustice suffered by so many in our communities.  

While we can’t change the past, we are responsible for the present and the pathways we pave for the future. Let’s be allies, pioneers, and ethically focused renegades for a more inclusive and just society. There are many blessings afoot, and they must be accessible by all.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at UW-Parkside


The annual tribute honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began in 1999 at UW-Parkside. In efforts to foster connections between the university and the youth in the surrounding communities, students from Racine and Kenosha County Schools were invited to participate in an Art and Essay Contest about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at UW-Parkside. The initiative not only engaged the youth, but also helped educate them on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, nominations were accepted for community service awards, where eligible recipients were Parkside students and members of the surrounding communities.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration event was hosted at UW-Parkside, and was originally an evening event. The opening of the celebration began with a video tribute including excerpts from the documentary, Eyes on the Prize, with a voice over from Dr. James Kinchen, UW-Parkside Music Professor. Followed by art and essay winners from the community sharing their knowledge of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Students who entered the art project category, which was for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade, completed art projects with the theme “Who is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?” The winning art projects were displayed for the audience while the students were presented with a medallion and a savings bond.

The essay contest was open to elementary school, middle school, high school and UW-Parkside students. Submitted essays focused on various themes pertaining to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The award winners in each grade level (elementary, middle, and high school) read their essays and were presented with a medallion and a savings bond. UW-Parkside student winners received a plaque and monetary award.

The recipients of the UW-Parkside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards were selected for their volunteering efforts and their implementation of Dr. King’s dream in their local community. Award recipients received a plaque and their names were also placed on a Commemorative UW-Parkside Community Service Award plaque.

During the evening celebration, both UW-Parkside students and local community members provided entertainment. A photo timeline exhibit of Dr. King’s life and art project entries were displayed for guests to view after the event.


In 2014, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration changed formats. OMSA began its collaboration with the Music Department, specifically working Dr. James Kinchen and Russ Johnson, in hosting a concert rounding out Black History Month. Becoming part of The Noon Concert Series, it consists of performances from University Chorale, Voices of Parkside, the UW-Parkside Jazz Combo, and either original poetry readings or praise dance performances. The celebration concluded with a reception and video presentation. In 2020, the Center for Liberal Studies joined as a co-sponsor of the celebration.

Throughout the Years

This video features photos from the previous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside since it began in 1999.

Previous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations

University of Wisconsin-Parkside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award
Award Winners 2000-2012


From 2000-2012, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) awarded UW-Parkside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards as part of the tribute to Dr. King’s leadership and legacy.

Nominations were submitted to select the winner(s) in the following categories:

  • UW Parkside Community Service Student Awards: Winners were selected for their volunteering efforts and how they implemented Dr. King’s dream in their local community.
  • Racine/Kenosha Community Service Awards: Winners were selected from local surrounding communities who demonstrated the vision and mission of Dr. King through their community endeavors.

Community Service Award recipients received a plaque and their names were also placed on a Commemorative UW-Parkside Community Service Award plaque recently displayed in Wyllie Hall (pictured on left).



  • Rev. Olen Arrington Jr. 
  • Al Haj Jameel Ghuari
  • Luis A. Benevoglienti
  • Kenyoda Gill
  • Norma Carter
  • Melissa Schmitz
  • Yolanda Adams
  • Ted Barrett
  • Roseann Mason
  • Rochelle Moore
  • Ardis Mahone
  • Alfonso Gardner
  • Sabrina Morgan
  • Latrice Harris-Collins
  • Chamika Ellis
  • Ahmad Qawi
  • Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority, Inc.
  • Stacia Thompson
  • John Wright
  • Christopher Semenas
  • Sammy Rangel
  • Undrah Cornelious
  • Timothy Johnson
  • George Lasley
  • David Maack
  • Pastor Elliott K. Cohen
  • George "Skip" Twardosz
  • Parice Beckley
  • M.A. Olatoya "Ola" Baiyewu
  • Bettie Poole
  • Pre-Health Club
  • Latasha Collins
  • Tuanquilla (Tessa) McKinney
  • Maria Morales
  • Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc.


The Roots of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
Narrated by Dr. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr.

In this video, Dr. Kinchen, Professor of Music, discusses and reflects on major historic events during the 1950’s and 1960’s that helped shape American History and the Civil Rights Movement. This video features excerpts from the documentary Eyes on the Prize



The Roots of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Your Essential Reading List

Must Read MLK Books and Resources


Liberal Studies is committed to academic and personal growth by learning from the voices of others. As we empower students to find their unique pathways, we want them to recognize and reflect on the many milestones and lessons evident in our diverse culture.


  • Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Citizen - Claudia Rankine
  • Hunger - Roxane Gay
  • This Will Be My Undoing - Morgan Jerkins
  • Diamond Grill - Fred Wah
  • Heart Berries - Terese Marie Mailhot
  • If They Come For Us - Fatima Asghar

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we hope you read at least one of these selections. 

Learn more about Liberal Studies at uwp.edu/programs

Need more Info?

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA)  |  262-595-2731  |  omsa@uwp.edu

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